Before I share my turkey recipe, I must first admit to (1) never having cooked a Thanksgiving turkey and (2) co-opting this recipe from my husband's Aunt Diane, who is not an American, does not live in America, and will not be cooking a turkey this week. Decide for yourself whether you want to risk this turkey. It will wake up your guests and bring the men-folks in from the television, but I'm not sure if you can serve it to relatives with heart conditions.
To delay the denouement, why have I never cooked a turkey? Because I am lucky to be a potluck goer and side-dish bringer, not a potluck hostess and turkey maker. Our families live far to the east so for many years the Dear Canadian and I have turned off our lights and gone to neighbors' homes or the community center. A college friend moved up near the Canadian border, and now they host Thanksgiving and we gladly drive. This year I will be making potatoes two ways, pumpkin pie, a test run of Christmas cookies, green beans amandine, homemade chunky apple sauce, and probably some sort of roasted squash, barley, hearty greens salad. While my sweet spouse loves to cook, this week he's painting our living room so I'm on the hook for the food. I'll be stirring with one hand and polishing TWO Golden Heart entries to be mailed Sunday night with the other. Yes, I work best when I'm crazy.
What's your Thanksgiving style? Are you a pot luck goer or a hostess? A side dish bringer, a beverage bringer, or a turkey roaster? What's your favorite dish and what can you skip?
Without further delay: one whole turkey, the largest lemon you can find, and a stick (or two) of butter. Cut lemon in half. Carefully, carefully, with a knife and your fingers, lift the skin of the turkey breast gently away from the meat and slip each lemon half under, peel facing away from the meat so the juice seeps into the turkey. Put about half a stick of butter in little pats under the skin. Rub the rest all over the outside of the skin, generously salt and pepper. Put in preheated oven and roast according to weight of turkey, etc. Baste every 15 - 20 minutes until done. It should look as perky as this bird: